Wednesday, April 29, 2009

At Least the New Pump Is Running Well

I was at the power plant most of the day Friday and into Saturday morning getting my new million dollar pump in service. I slept right through Saturday morning's Freeport 5K. It was probably just as well that I did, because my knee was still bothering me when I ran a few miles Saturday afternoon. On Sunday I decided to dump the cautious approach and run fairly hard and fast. I felt great for the first six and a half miles, but in the last mile the left knee started bothering me again. I had to work Monday night to support testing a steam turbine driven pump, so I skipped running until now. I'm thinking about testing the knee again Thursday morning. We'll see.

I stumbled across this Boston Marathon race report from a sub-elite runner (courtesy of GB). I thought it was interesting to hear a Boston story from the elite runner perspective.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Running Boston Vicariously

I couldn't go to Boston this year, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the race. My coworkers surrounding my cubicle already know I'm crazy, but I'm sure that impression was confirmed while I cheered for Kara, Ryan, and the locals Monday morning. Here are some highlights I've stumbled across.

Kara making the turn from Hereford onto Boylston at the fire station.

The three women race down Boylston Street

Ryan Hall heading up Hereford

Hall taking third place. (from Ryan's Boston blog)

Ryan throwing the first pitch at Fenway.

Elite fluids staged near the 30K point (from KG's 30K/20M pictures)

The Boston Globe has many great pictures
Merga Breaks the Tape

Tune collapses after being edged out at the finish line

40 year old Coleen DeReuck pushed the pace early

Jim Rhodes has volumes of pictures from 1 mile, 30K, and 20 miles.

And of course, here are some of my old Boston pictures.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Down Hard

I've taken workdays off the last couple of weeks hoping to resolve the problem with my left knee. But the knee felt even worse last Sunday, so I'm in an eleven day period of complete rest. I missed a local 5K Saturday, but I'm looking forward to the 5K coming up in Freeport. I won't run again until Friday, so it won't be much of a race.

This was supposed to be my year to run the Boston Marathon. There's no Spring refueling outage at the power plant so I thought I could get vacation in April. But we're installing a new million dollar pump this week so no vacation allowed for me. I guess it's just as well. I'd really be miserable running Boston on this knee.

Ready to put the new pump into the building

My knee feels pretty good now. I feel like like I'm in taper, I have so much energy built up. I want to go out and blast a 10-miler. But this week is still recovery and installing the new pump.

Monday, April 6, 2009

One Step Forward, Four Steps Back

Last week I ran a decent 8K race following a pretty good training week. I ran my fastest Tuesday Morning Tempo of the year and a decent set of 800s Wednesday evening, despite warm temperatures, near Summer dewpoints, and a strong Gulf breeze. I followed Saturday's 8K race with a near-effortless 15-miler Sunday, averaging 7:16 pace with my heart rate at only 139 bpm. But during that run I hit a couple of fire ant mounds that stressed my left knee. About an hour later, my left leg was sore from the thigh to the calf and my knee was screaming with pain whenever I tried to straighten it or fully bend it.

The knee continued to hurt the next morning just walking. I took Monday off. The knee still hurt walking Tuesday. No run Tuesday. My left knee hurt when it was fully bent Wednesday; no run Wednesday. Thursday was better, but I didn't want to stress it.

I was able to run a very easy 7½ miler Friday on one of those days so beautiful you just have to run. Disregarding any common sense, I drove up to Bellaire Saturday morning to run the Trolley 5K. I figured my chances of finishing were about 50-50. I ran the first mile in 5:36; the knee held up but I didn't. I ended up slightly over 6 minute per mile pace. At least my knee didn't bother me during the race. But it did flair up a little during the cooldown.

Having to deal with this knee is incredibly frustrating. Over the years I've been told over again and over again by non-runners that I'm ruining my knees. But I'd always countered that I'd been running since 9th Grade and my knees are just as good now as they were in 1973. I can't say that anymore. I'm worried I might do something that will permanently sideline me. If I had a choice, I'd rather continue running another twenty years but never race again than run a sub-2:50 marathon and burn out. For running, I don't think it's better to burn out than to fade away.

The highlight at Bellaire was SabraH smashing the World Record for the Woman's 60-64 Age Group Road 5K She ran a 19:11.6. 

That's a 100.71% age graded result!